Deconstructing Comics #579: Helioscope: Fred Chao and Ron Randall

Fred Chao and Ron Randall

This week we wrap up both Tim’s visit to Heliscope Studio in Portland, and the whole three-month string of episodes from Tim’s trip around the US this past summer.

We’ll hear from Fred Chao about the double-edged sword of living in New York and how it informed his book Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero; how his approach to photos is really old-school; and his Kickstarted childrens’ book Alison and Her Rainy Day Robot.

Then, veteran comics artist Ron Randall on the right and wrong ways to use photo reference, his experience pencilling from an Alan Moore Swamp Thing script; his creator-owned project from the ‘80s, Trekker, and why he’s reviving it now; attending the nerd Mardi Gras; and why we’re living in a golden age of comics!

Deconstructing Comics site

Deconstructing Comics #578: Helioscope: Steve Lieber, Maria Frantz, and Ben Dewey

Steve Lieber, Maria Frantz, and Ben Dewey

Three more talks with the folks at Helioscope Studio in Portland in this episode!

Steve Lieber, an artist in his own right and also manager of the studio, gives us a brief history of the studio (including its self-naming woes) and tips on how to start your own studio.

Intern/mentee Maria Frantz, a university student and web cartoonist who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes, explains her internship and the aims of her comics work, and how her generation approaches comics.

Finally, Ben Dewey (Autumnlands, Beasts of Burden) talks about his process of doing art (involving digital pencils and analog watercolors), why you shouldn’t get too fussy over your comics, managing your comics creating time, and what was good about Rob Liefeld’s work.

Deconstructing Comics site

Deconstructing Comics #576: Helioscope: Cat Farris and Terry Blas

Cat Farris and Terry Blas

This week, two more creators from Portland’s Helioscope Studio:

Cat Farris is working on “Emily and the Strangers” for Dark Horse, and her own web comic “The Last Diplomat.” She talks about the learning curve of drawing digitally, pacing the revealing of story information, the down side of telling people what she does for a living, and more.

Terry Blas has done covers for such comics titles as Adventure Time and Rick & Morty, and is the co-writer of a forthcoming graphic novel from Oni Press called Morbid Obesity, a murder mystery set at a fat camp. He talks about how to make stories less formulaic and more emotional, and points out a neglected segment of the American comics market.

Deconstructing Comics site

Deconstructing Comics #575: Helioscope: Karl Kesel and Dylan Meconis

This week we begin our visit with the creators at Helioscope, a comics studio in Portland, Oregon!

Karl Kesel has been in mainstream comics for 30 years and has worked on some of the most popular characters from the Big Two. How has the industry changed in that time, for good and bad? Why is his fingernail always broken? How is inking therapeutic for him?

 

 

Then graphic novelist Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!: A Vampire Farce; Family Man; Outfoxed) gives us a lot of thoughts and tips for promoting a comic online, as well as why foxes are thought of as tricksters in numerous cultures, and how we’ll know when comics have really “arrived”.

Deconstructing Comics site